Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Twin Cities Suburbs
UrsusUrbanicus
Nicollet Mall
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby UrsusUrbanicus » February 10th, 2015, 5:46 am

I'm mostly curious about grids though. I know sight lines have a little to do with it, and if memory serves from City Planning classes crime prevention as well.
I seem to recall hearing that at some point in the 1960s, the availability of FHA financing for homes in new developments was made contingent upon those developments' having a "curvilinear" street layout. Not sure how this general adjective would have been processed into strict legalese, but there are some neighborhoods in New Hope and eastern Plymouth that seem to fit the bill at a quick glance.

As for the notion that winding, curvy streets would prevent crime -- isn't it tragic that we came to engineer entire communities around the assumption that every passer-by had a statistically significant probability of being a criminal? Seems a pretty hefty assumption to make. Combining the breadth of such an assumption with the historical record circa mid-century (around every corner, there are Beatniks and Commies and Negroes who want to SUBVERT US ALL!!1!), I can't help but wonder how much of this theory was really more of a fear-based marketing ploy by suburban real-estate developers who needed to sell remote land at inflated prices.

UrsusUrbanicus
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby UrsusUrbanicus » February 10th, 2015, 5:54 am

Receiving heavy opposition from locals who fear impact to property values (via crime & school degradation) & higher municipal costs thanks to likely high police call rates. https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveCarver/
Typical. They don't want anyone who works a lower-paying retail job (and who thus requires housing priced lower than the area median) living anywhere near them... yet they have an absolute crap attack at the thought of their $2.69 Chalupa going up to $2.99 if a living-wage proposal were to be implemented. I suppose everyone who isn't a stockbroker is supposed to drive in from Brooklyn Center, and then just happily lose their job when the car they can barely afford to maintain finally dumps out after endless 50-mile round trips?

min-chi-cbus
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 10th, 2015, 7:47 am

I'm mostly curious about grids though. I know sight lines have a little to do with it, and if memory serves from City Planning classes crime prevention as well.
I seem to recall hearing that at some point in the 1960s, the availability of FHA financing for homes in new developments was made contingent upon those developments' having a "curvilinear" street layout. Not sure how this general adjective would have been processed into strict legalese, but there are some neighborhoods in New Hope and eastern Plymouth that seem to fit the bill at a quick glance.

As for the notion that winding, curvy streets would prevent crime -- isn't it tragic that we came to engineer entire communities around the assumption that every passer-by had a statistically significant probability of being a criminal? Seems a pretty hefty assumption to make. Combining the breadth of such an assumption with the historical record circa mid-century (around every corner, there are Beatniks and Commies and Negroes who want to SUBVERT US ALL!!1!), I can't help but wonder how much of this theory was really more of a fear-based marketing ploy by suburban real-estate developers who needed to sell remote land at inflated prices.
Thanks for the nugget of info about FHA loans....that would explain a lot!

As for crime prevention, the history of this ideology that I was taught was that by having fewer main thoroughfares and more cul-de-sacs that a would-be thief (or Commie) on the run would have fewer getaway options and there could be more choke points that police could use to pursue the perpetrator. I'm not sure if that was part of Jane Jacob's ideology or just some government conspiracy to keep whites excluded and separated from the rest of society. Either way I totally agree with you how misguided this sounds, but I wouldn't be shocked if we look back on today 50+ years from now with the same condescension.

Rich
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Rich » February 10th, 2015, 8:08 am

the availability of FHA financing for homes in new developments was made contingent upon those developments' having a "curvilinear" street layout
You're seriously telling us that the FHA denied assistance to qualified folks solely because the street wasn't curvy?

UrsusUrbanicus
Nicollet Mall
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby UrsusUrbanicus » February 11th, 2015, 2:16 am

It might have been more of a general regulatory encouragement than a full-on carrot/stick approach. That factoid came from a long-ago vague recollection, and perhaps I should have done a better job of emphasizing its shaky provenance. :)

twincitizen
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby twincitizen » February 11th, 2015, 7:28 am

Is it really that surprising though? As you move from the city and immediate postwar (40s-50s) suburbs to 1960s and 1970s, you can clearly see the "subdivision" begin to emerge. First, in places like Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Fridley, and Roseville. No longer a perfect rectangular grid, it begins to curve and wave and dead end, but still adheres to the grid network. There had to be some (governmental) force behind it besides "subdivision designers liked it". I'm guessing stormwater regs also began coming into play in the 70s, which played a hand in even more cartoonish subdivision design in the 2nd ring and beyond. Among the cities I listed above, cul-de-sacs and other cartoonish features of later suburbs were rare. They basically still have a grid, just slightly curvier.

Rich
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Rich » February 11th, 2015, 8:10 am

Generally there’s a lot less car traffic in curvy subdivisions and cul de sacs, right? Didn’t developers intentionally make those areas a pain to navigate, so that through traffic would go elsewhere? The resulting quieter streets could then be sold to young families at higher prices.

schmitzm03
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby schmitzm03 » February 11th, 2015, 8:51 am

This article explains some of the regulations that actively discouraged grid-based development post-1930 or so: http://www.citylab.com/design/2011/09/street-grids/124/

Rich
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Rich » February 11th, 2015, 9:40 am

This article explains some of the regulations
Does it? The article hints at the existence of regulations, but I don’t see where an actual regulation is identified or defined. The FHA made pamphlets that noted preferences, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that developers who didn’t take FHA suggestions were subject to any penalty. Perhaps the author of that article is confusing suggestions with regulations?

schmitzm03
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby schmitzm03 » February 11th, 2015, 12:00 pm

You're right. I mis-remembered that article. It wasn't regulation, per se, so much as creating a substantial incentive to comply with fha standards in order to receive fha mortgage insurance. Local municipalities often turned the standards into actual regulations, however. Land developers, eager to build in such a way that enabled home buyers to take advantage of fha-subsidized mortgages actually encouraged standardization based on fha criteria, which were stringently anti-grid. See this article for more info:http://web.mit.edu/ebj/www/doc/JAPAv61n1.pdf

Rich
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Rich » February 11th, 2015, 12:59 pm

Thanks for that. One thing I’d note though. It says that the FHA was largely run by representatives of real estate and banking - who protected the interests of developers. It also says that FHA standards were written to support what established builders already wanted. So were developers manipulating the FHA for their own benefit? Sure seems that way.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 11th, 2015, 1:47 pm

Generally there’s a lot less car traffic in curvy subdivisions and cul de sacs, right? Didn’t developers intentionally make those areas a pain to navigate, so that through traffic would go elsewhere? The resulting quieter streets could then be sold to young families at higher prices.
I can believe that -- quieter streets where kids can play safely. Perhaps that's why so many suburbs have no sidewalks. :shock:

min-chi-cbus
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 11th, 2015, 1:52 pm

Thanks for all of this feedback on the question of cul-de-sacs vs. grids! Bringing it full circle now (and maybe back on topic), why don't developers utilize the grid system in new developments TODAY (like in this master-planned Chaska development)??? Or are there still sprinkles of incentives for developers to cul and de-sac?

*Edit: this is actually a fairly enlightening article on cul de sacs and why they exist (I love Wikipedia!):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cul-de-sac
In the US, these changes can be attributed to real-estate developers' desire to meet FHA guidelines and make federal home loans available to their consumers.....These incentives...were discontinued in the 1970s
More answers:
American urban planning, in the 19th and early 20th century, emphasized a grid plan, partly out of extensive reliance on foot, horse and streetcars for transportation. In such earlier urban development, alleys were included to allow for deliveries of soiled supplies, such as coal, to the rear of houses which are now heated by electricity, piped natural gas or oil.
I strongly disagree with some of the studies results though:
19th century gridiron is undesirable
Cul-de-sac streets increase spontaneous outdoor activity by children
cul-de-sac street [promotes] social networking

xandrex
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby xandrex » February 11th, 2015, 2:10 pm

Thanks for all of this feedback on the question of cul-de-sacs vs. grids! Bringing it full circle now (and maybe back on topic), why don't developers utilize the grid system in new developments TODAY (like in this master-planned Chaska development)??? Or are there still sprinkles of incentives for developers to cul and de-sac?
A lot of people like not being on a through-street and pay a premium to be at the end of a cul-de-sac. I have a few suburban-oriented friends who a waiting for the day they can purchase a house on such a street.

mattaudio
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby mattaudio » February 11th, 2015, 2:17 pm

True, it's sort of the suburban equivalent of blacktop roads for all in rural areas... it's something that noticeably increases property value, but increases public liabilities by a much greater factor. One more way the hierarchical road network is financially disastrous.

mulad
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby mulad » February 11th, 2015, 3:18 pm

Interesting that the incentives apparently went away in the '70s -- I've spent a lot of time updating OpenStreetMap, and my general sense has been that the cul-de-sac population has actually exploded since that time. They continue to pop up in tons and tons of new developments.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 3rd, 2015, 10:43 am

Update to the Carver Crossing development: the city held the public hearing yesterday before a council vote. The project passed despite heavy opposition. I have a feeling this project will play a big role in the next council election in Carver.

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 4th, 2015, 5:33 pm

Why are people so terrible?

[unlocked] http://finance-commerce.com/2015/03/car ... g-project/

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Anondson
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Anondson » March 4th, 2015, 5:46 pm

J. F'ing. C. Too many unkind thoughts.

The Wedge drama has nothing on this.

Ken
Block E
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Re: General Discussion: Chanhassen - Chaska - Carver County

Postby Ken » March 4th, 2015, 5:47 pm

Regarding the Carver Crossing development...

1. That anti-group on facebook has been active over the last several weeks. Obviously they are very biased in their views seeking any data and twisting it whichever way possible to try and prove a point which was contrary to the statistics which were shown. It's as if someone scared the group, and was very effective at doing so despite what the actual statistic shown. The whole group got very blood thirsty for any shred of evidence that would show that somehow this was going to affect crime levels.

2. Many of their points were strongly misrepresented to stop this development. Too-big and too-soon was the motto they went by. Meanwhile single family developments have been popping up there over the course of a few years with no regard for crime concerns. If you listen to their arguments, SOME, but not all really were worried about the diversification of the neighborhood. Some even admitted as much via postings that were made on Monday about some article about Somali's needing housing. One poster who posted frequently on that forum even commented as much "That's what I'm afraid of" before eventually her comment was removed later.

3. If anyone watches the meeting video which is posted on the town website, the strongly disliked team explained in perfect english there thoughts on why they were for it. A. Concerns for crime were unwarranted. B. They have a plan for crime prevention for the increase in population. C. They will need new schools / updated infrastructure regardless. Mike Webb, the new mayor covered that point by point.

4. Constant misrepresentations. - Since then that facebook group has thrown out comments how Mike said here was "zero need" for senior housing. If anyone watches the video what he stated was that a few years back, they had a study or report done and it said at that time, there was "zero need". Mike continued to comment during his deliberation, "I'm sure that has changed some since then" and that they would be "looking at it again", but in an effort to defame and libel Mike Webb, some have been perpetuating these comments several times over.

5. The group has had many posts which have since been deleted which have shown people who oppose this project being painted with communist rhetoric. This has been posted regarding the current committee as well as the few posters who have posted in their group, opposition to this. Some right mind people have spoken out against this to help lasso the group from becoming ugly.

6. "Alternative" projects the group had suggested were expressed as a 10-20 unit development. I'm not sure if many developers go through the trouble of developing something that small. The alternative solution they were trying to provide was not a logical solution.

I think they will have their opportunity to replace their whole city council over the course of the next several years and much of their talk is about that. That's the power they should have. However, I think they will find when they are in similar positions, that they can't grow their whole city with people who own houses with household incomes in the $100k-200k only crowd.


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